Sunday, 13 June 2021

Another Glorious Day,

so into the garden for myself,


I spent the afternoon listening to Just A Minute, so many laughs as the constants have to talk about a given subject for one minute with out repetition, hesitation and deviation, it sounds so simple, but is fiendishly difficult,

and for this afternoon some Camden pale ale

after being suitably browed in the sun it was time for a read and a sherry,

as I was heating my meal this little chappie called by on the kitchen window sill,

for starters vegetable samosas and onion bhajis,

next a feast, chicken jalfrezi, with chicken korma and lamb rogan josh, with pulao rice,

for dessert raspberries, strawberries and grapes, 

later Diana came home from work so it was feet up for a couple of films, firstly Hellraiser, I am not a great fan of horror movies, but this one was really very good, especially given it's age, it was released in 1987, also it's budget, just £1 million,

we rounded the evening off with Replicas, the first time we watched it I wrote 'much as I like the genre of science fiction, I can not find a way to say anything good about this film, except perhaps the huge screen of the computer, that can be swiped if you see what I mean', watching it for a second time it sort of got a little better, and with the end of that we were off to bed.


This Is The Most Complex Creature Feeding Machine,

I have ever seen,


after sticking some peanuts to a domino, it took 14 hours of waiting for a squirrel to spring the machine into giving up the nuts and seeds, much to the delight of squirrel, plus a chipmunk, blue jay, and a raccoon, Creezy on YouTube did not mention how long it took to set up the feeder, you can skip the ad after a few seconds, if you like this sort of Rube Goldberg Machine, go to Creezy and check out his Swish Machine, it is a seventy step basket ball trick shot machine, and the amazing thing?  it was all taken in one take, no stopping or camera trickery, amazing!


I Have Been To Many Pubs,

with signed banknotes on the walls and ceilings,


but none with as much in hard cash as McGuire’s Irish Pub in Pensacola, Florida, photograph Panoramio, the story of McGuire’s Irish Pub’s unique decoration can be traced back to 1977, when Martin McGuire and his wife, Molly opened the opened the business. He tended the bar while Molly waited tables, and when she made her first $1 tip, she celebrated by writing the date on it and tacking it to the back bar for good luck, the idea snowballed from there, “It’s 15,000 square feet and there’s dollar bills on every bit of that ceiling and quite a bit of the walls,” owner William “McGuire” Martin told the Chicago Tribune back in 1999, “We count it every year and we pay taxes on the growth in it. We treat it as an asset, and we borrow against it and so forth.” at the time of the interview, McGuire estimated his unique d├ęcor to consist of around $175,000, but according to more recent counts, the pub now has nearly two million dollars in autographed bills hanging from its ceiling. That’s a fortune literally at arms length from strangers, most of whom resist the temptation of taking some of that cash for themselves,

thefts from time to time do occur, an employee was once fined and put on probation after allegedly pulling down an estimated $5,000 of green “wallpaper”, and many others have tried using the marked bills to pay for various things around Pensacola, but because every banknote that goes up on McGuire’s ceiling is autographed with a black marker and features staple holes, it’s hard to spend them anywhere in town without anyone noticing them. The Irish pub is a local landmark and the money tradition is very well-known, so whenever someone presents a marked bill virtually anywhere in Pensacola, alarm bells go off, “The teller instantly realized that was probably money from McGuire’s and notified a manager and during that time, the suspect became a little worried and left the building,” one police offer told WEAR-TV about a thief’s attempt to exchange stolen banknotes at a local bank, there is actually a second McGuire’s Irish Pub in Destin, Florida, which, according to a 2017 report had an estimated $1.7 million in cash hanging from its ceiling, you can view both bars web sites here, what a thought, to be able to see a minimum of $1.7 million dollars on walls and ceilings, I would drink to that 'Cheers!'.


How Amazing Is This,

a hyperloop rail system,


Zaha Hadid Architects announced that it will be collaborating with Hyperloop Italia to design the "next phase of works" for a planned near-supersonic network in Italy, "We are looking forward to collaborating with Hyperloop Italia; marrying transformative architecture, engineering and urban planning with the most efficient and sustainable transport network to significantly improve accessibility, connectivity, and well-being in our cities," said Zaha Hadid Architects principal Patrik Schumacher,

"We share Hyperloops Italia's multidisciplinary approach which combines innovations in design and operational technologies with advances in ecologically sound materials and construction practices; enabling us to deliver future-resilient projects that are inventive, structurally efficient and environmentally sustainable." the video above gives a better idea of the system than I could possibly write, the technology is now being developed by several companies including HyperloopTT, which has licenced its technology to Hyperloop Italia for use in Italy, Hyperloop Italia is currently carrying out a feasibility study on a proposed route between Milan and the Malpensa Airport, which would reduce travel time from 43 minutes to 10 minutes, the planned network in Italy would be powered entirely by renewable energy sources and will be capable of producing more energy than it consumes, "This agreement marks another step forward for Hyperloop Italia and the development of the fourth industrial revolution," explained Hyperloop Italia founder and CEO Bibop Gresta, "We are committed to building the most accessible, convenient and safest transportation system in the world using the new generation of environmentally friendly materials with a high recycled content." here is a thought, why do we, that is the UK, still keep railway lines above ground when this idea looks so promising?


Saturday, 12 June 2021

I Had A Few Things To Do Today,

starting with going to Lidl,


for our weekly shopping, the car park as usual packed,

next stop past the pub now open,

and a part of old Beckenham,

a small mews in part of the old town,

and into Sainsburys,

next stop the station, I bought a ticket to pop down to see Duncan next week, also as Diana has a day off on Wednesday a pair of return tickets to Whitstable, hopefully the weather will be kind to us,

in the evening time for a read,

a prawn cocktail,

and a plate of chilli con carne,

meal finished and I was out,

through the park,

and past the grass verge,

that the couple who live in Foxgrove Lodge look after,

lots of plants now flowering,

this one particularly nice,

a type of iris,

but with a different colour flower to the normal yellow or blues ones that we normally see,

into the club,

where a cricket match was in progress, I meet up with Steve and we chatted night away, after dropping me off home Diana and myself settled down for one from New Tricks, before we were off to bed.


This Is Truly Amazing,

watch as Simone Biles performs a triple-double,


or as it is known, three twists performed during two backflips, this short clip captures the star athlete, who hasn’t lost an all-around competition in eight years, as she completes the perfect sequence in extreme slow motion, you can watch the full routine hereSimone Biles claimed her seventh U.S. gymnastics title last weekend, in part thanks to the above routine, looking at the height she achieves it almost looks like she could land a high jump record as well, amazing!


Do You Believe In Coincidences?

just last night we had decided that on Diana's day off next week,


we would return here to Whitstable on the Kent coast, today I will go to the station and buy the tickets,

these are a few photographs we took of our last visit there,

in July 2019, and the coincidence? having made that decision last night today I found this in my inbox, the title of the article, 'Tankerton: The Kent beach named one of the best in the entire country, the Whitstable resort was scored on eight different areas including parking, lifeguards, cafes, water quality and whether they were dog-friendly', coincidence, or did somehow our conversation travel through the air and this email just mysteriously arrive?


It Makes Such A Difference To The Value Of A Book,

even a relatively modern one,  


like this book titled Life of Pi, published in London by Canongate in 2002, if it is a first edition and signed by the author, unsigned and any other edition it can be bought for a few pounds,

but this one even though it is fairly recent has gone up in value,

although first published in Canada this is the first UK edition and first impression of the 2002 Booker Prize winner, and signed by him,

the book is complete in the original decorative dust wrapper, designed by James Hutcheson featuring a painting by Andy Bridge. Life of Pi is a Canadian philosophical novel, written by noted author Yann Martel,

the book has sold nearly 13m copies, it is a set text in schools, has been translated into more than 40 languages and been adapted into a film for which director Ang Lee won an Oscar, so how much does the fact that it is the first UK edition and signed make? from a few pounds to £400.00 here at Rooke Books

and yes we have watched the film, Life of Pi, which features stunning sets and filming, the near opening swimming pool scene so surreal, but so stunning, as it happens Pi's childhood takes place in Pondicherry, which is a real place in India, but unlike the film, the town lacks a zoo, so far, back to the book, what a difference a first edition and signature makes.


Friday, 11 June 2021

I Had Planned On Having Another Day In The Garden,

but alas it was not to be,



the day started out dull and whilst it warmed in the afternoon, there was so much cloud I stayed in the flat, watching a few documentaries, after my evening meal Diana arrived home from work, so it was feet up for The King, which was a rather lavish film of the life of Henry V as he came to power, is it a true story? as this article says, 'yes and no', but very enjoyable to watch, we followed that with one from New Tricks before we were off to bed.


I Enjoy Looking In Bookshops,

and this is one I really would love to visit, 


Dujiangyan Zhongshuge, is a bookstore in Dujiangyan, China, which has an amazing interior, all photographs X+Living,

although only 2 stories high it vaulted ceilings and shelves of books seem to go on forever,

the store relies on strategically placed mirrors and gleaming black tile floor to create a stunning illusion,

the roughly 10,500-square-foot bookshop was designed by Li Xiang, founder of Shanghai-based architecture studio X+Living, and inaugurated in the Fall of 2020. Using clever elements like spiralling staircases, curved archways and strategically-placed mirrors, the designers of this unique bookstore were able to create a downright stunning illusion of infinity, 

the Chinese bookseller Zhongshuge is renowned for its awe-inspiring bookstores, but its latest venue, in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, takes the cake for the most stunning yet. Li Xiang reportedly took a month to design the place and the construction process lasted five months, one trick the designers used to achieve this infinity visual effect was to covering the upper shelves with a print of shelved books rather than actual books, so it would appear that books stretched from floor to ceiling, “If we placed real books on the upper shelves, it’s not only hard for readers to reach them but also difficult for operators to take care of,” Li said. “The store already has a collection of over 80,000 books, so there’s actually no waste of space.”

in the video above there is the statement, 'there might be more people coming to take photographs than read books' I think that may well be correct!


One Of The Problems With Plants,

is that when they are stressed they cannot tell you that they are,


photograph © Shilo Rosenwasser Hebrew University, and by the time you realise that they are stressed as in say lack of water, cold weather, lack of sunlight, strong light etc. it is more often than not too late to help them, but what if the plant could tell you they are stressed? scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are hoping to fix this big problem with the help of advanced genetic manipulation, a team of Israeli researchers led by Dr. Shilo Rosenwaser managed to genetically modify a potato plant so that it glows under fluorescent light when affected by physical stress, “We were able to monitor the fluorescence signals emitted from the biosensors and noticed the accumulation of reactive oxygen species during the early phase responses to stress conditions such as drought, extreme temperature, and high light,” Dr. Rosenwaser told Alpha Galileo, the researchers chose to focus on the humble potato for their study, as it is a major food crop that comprises 40% of Israel’s exports, what an amazing piece of research.


It Seems To Me,

that every few months a 'new' dinosaur is discovered, 


image credit: Vladislav Konstantinov / Scott Hocknull, this is the latest to be found and is the biggest so far known in Australia, named Australotitan cooperensis, it took 17 years to reach this conclusion because Australotitan is actually a unique species, and the palaeontologists wanted to be absolutely sure that this was the case before announcing it to the world, Australotitan is a sauropod that lived almost 100 million years ago. It would have measured about 5–6.5 meters (16–21 feet) tall and 25–30 meters (82–98 feet) long with a weight of around 70 tons. This would make the dinosaur as long as a basketball court and as tall as a two-story building,

photo credit: ©Eromanga Natural History Museum, to confirm that Cooper was indeed an Australotitan, scientists used new technology to create 3D scans of the bones so that they could be compared to other dinosaur bones held in other museums, sometimes thousands of kilometers away, when speaking about the research, Dr. Hocknull from Queensland Museum said: “The 3-D scans we created allowed me to carry around 1000s of kilos of dinosaur bones in a 7kg laptop.” While Australotitan might be closely related to other Australian sauropods, this new dinosaur is more on a scale of those found in South America. It has generated huge excitement in Australia because not only is Australotitan the largest dinosaur to have roamed the continent, but it can also claim to be one of the top five largest dinosaurs in the world by length and mass, and of course the creature has a nickname, the dinosaur is also known as the Southern Titan, give it a couple of months or so and another new dinosaur will be discovered, I am sure of it!


Thursday, 10 June 2021

I Had Another,

very lazy day in the garden,


listening to more episodes of Just A Minuet, which I found very amusing, in the evening a sherry and a read,

with just a sandwich for this evening,

followed by a few grapes, then a small treat I had not listened to Ego Plum for such a long time I decided on listening to all of his first CD with the 10 members of the Ebola Music Orchestra titled Anthology of Infection, Vol. 1, not to everyone's taste in music but I enjoy many of the tracks, mainly I guess because they are so different,

by now Diana had arrived home, so strawberries and cream it was then, we watched one from New Tricks before we were off to bed.